Welcome back to our Student Income Report Series! This week we’re excited to feature our first update from advanced VA Julie Fleischhacker.
To jog your memory a bit, Julie made an awesome leap of faith that paid off – she left corporate America, moved to sunny Mexico and started a VA business! After taking 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, she’s almost a year into her adventures as a VA and is currently working with six clients. Julie’s making plenty to live on comfortably and is looking at expanding her business, and income, in the coming months.
By the way – Julie made all this happen without even having a website! She built her business at a pace that works for her and has been careful about choosing clients that she really wants to work with. You can read more about her story here.
Let’s find out what she’s been up to and how those goals are going! Ready?
Hi Julie! How are things going?
Hello again! It’s been a productive month – some aspects of my September goals will carry over into my October goals, and that’s okay! The whole idea is onward and upward, right?
My entire month was dedicated to onboarding my newest client, which is great because that meant more billable hours in September than I had planned on!
Work with this new client has brought tons of fun projects, new apps and systems to learn and develop. We implemented Trello and it’s been helping keep everybody on track. Poco a poco – Spanish for little by little.
Catch us up on last month’s goals:
September Goal #1 – Get my website up and running
I made some great progress with this goal! Here’s what I accomplished:
- Changed my business name and purchased some domains, including my name (which I’ll probably never use since my name is impossible to spell, but you never know!).
- Hosted my site on Flywheel and managed a bunch of “tech stuff” that came up – thanks Flywheel & Daryn! I’m feeling pretty techie these days.
- Setup my G Suite account – I’m live at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Created my logo with my new business name. Check it out:
September Goal #2 – “Hire” a new client
I haven’t hired a new client yet, but I do check the leads that come into the VA Leads Community Facebook group and search my freelance platform every day. I also network wherever and whenever I can. The word is out with family and friends, and I’m confident that this will happen when it’s supposed to.
September Goal #3 – Organize my income & receipts for the end of the year
I have the income portion completed – yeah me! I still need to gather ALL my expenses and documents, though.
What are your goals for next month?
October Goal #1 – Get my website up and running
I’m creating some accountability for myself here! Here are my “done by dates” for this goal:
- Home Page – October 6th
- About Page – October 13th
- Services Page – October 15th
- Contact Me Page – October 17th
I have a feeling that once I get started, I’ll be able to complete all four pages at the same time but wanted to stagger things so I could add these dates to my calendar.
October Goal #2 – “Hire” a new client
My plan to achieve this goal is:
- Pitch at a minimum of once per week.
- Add a 15-minute morning task of checking the VA Leads Community Facebook group & the freelance platform before any other work starts.
- Add a Friday calendar reminder to pitch at least one client by the end of the week.
October Goal #3 – Move back to the US
Yep, that’s right. I am leaving San Miguel de Allende, Mexico after living here for a year and heading back to the Midwest. I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends and planning my next travel adventure! I hope I’m back in time to see some fall colors and enjoy some campfires.
“Being able to do this – pick up, move and head on to the next adventure – is one of my big ‘whys’ for my VA business! I love that I have this freedom and flexibility, and I’m excited to see where my travels will take me next.“
October Goal #4 – Open a business checking account while I’m back home
I’ve been researching this for months (virtual bank vs. brick and mortar) and haven’t made up my mind. I need to re-visit my research and make a decision. Fees – it’s all about fees and I don’t want to pay any! Here’s my plan:
- Review all my research by October 25th.
- Open a new checking account by October 31st.
- Connect my new bank account with my online bookkeeping app by October 31st.
How are your income goals going?
You can see the latest screenshot of my earnings below. My August projection was off because of how I calculated income (billed vs. collected), but I’m trouble-shooting that by taking a look at when I bill my clients.
Great news though! My September income increased by almost 220%! While I would love for this kind of growth to continue every month, I think it will in stay at this amount until I acquire more clients. STILL AWESOME!
How did I make this jump in my income happen? Great question!
I landed a new client in late August and we started at ten hours a week for a trial period. I was able to get so much organized and off her plate that she increased my hours to “unlimited” for a while. She saw a great ROI with my services right away and she’s really happy!
Here’s where I’m at with my short- and long-term income goals…
Short-term goal – $5,000 per month in the next 6-12 months
Here’s my plan:
#1: Increase efficiency
This year has been all about learning. Everything is new, so it feels like it takes five times longer!
- For each client, I am creating processes and SOPs (standard operating procedures) that can be used by new VAs, interns, etc.
- I’m going to create an on-boarding workbook for new clients so it doesn’t take so long to get permissions, passwords, etc., setup.
#2: Offer packages vs. hourly
I’m going to calculate my rate based on my experience to-date, and this will become more clear when I create my Services page for my website. Then, as contracts come up for negotiation I’ll be ready!
#3: Move clients off the freelance platform
This way I’ll be able to save on fees. I only have two small clients left on the platform, so this shouldn’t be too difficult!
Long-term goal – $10,000 per month
Part of my plan to make moves toward this goal is to take the Pinterest VA course that Gina and Kristin offer. I’m going to do this in the spring – I’d love to do it right now but I’ve got a lot on my plate currently and want to make sure I’m in a good position to take action on what I’m learning!
September was a great month and it’s fun to have the opportunity to share the progress I’m making in my business. I’m really looking forward to updating everyone on this month’s goals!
Ready to kick off your virtual assistant journey as Julie did? Get started here!
Julie is a Digital Librarian turned Digital Nomad (originally from Minnesota – Go Vikes!!!) who provides Virtual Assistant services to micro/ small business owners including email and calendar management, project management, research, digital file management, bookkeeping and general business management. Previously, she’s worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies as a digital asset librarian, managing global databases of images and videos and providing training and technical troubleshooting. She currently resides in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and is enjoying the freedom and opportunities her new career provides.